DUNCAN EDWARDS PEACE FIELD
A Duncan Edwards Peace Field Plaque was unveiled at the Dell Stadium in Brierley Hill, Dudley on Thursday, 11 November 2021. The site is now twinned with Flanders Peace Field in Mesen, Belgium, site of the First World War, 1914 Christmas truces.
In the week leading up to Christmas 1914, German, British and allied soldiers stopped fighting to sing festive songs. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, some ventured into no man’s land to exchange gifts and to play games of football. Today the truce is remembered as a symbolic moment of peace and humanity.
The Black Country’s most famous footballing son, Duncan Edwards uncle Private Sidney Edwards,, served in the 9th Worcester Battalion during World War One and was killed in 1917 in Kut al-Amara, Mesopotamia, now part of Iraq. He is remembered on the Dudley World War One Memorial.
As part of an initiative by the National Children’s Football Alliance, there are 41 peace pitches across five continents in countries including the USA, Argentina, Ghana, Israel and Australia.
The football pitch at the Bryce Road site was officially declared the Duncan Edwards Peace Field as civic dignitaries, former team mates of Duncan, and ex Aston Villa European Cup Winner Tony Morley were in attendance.
Councillor Steve Clark, said, ‘ The Duncan Edwards Peace Field is a wonderful initiative and sobering reminder to us all of the sacrifaces made for our freedom, as well as a tribute to Dudley’s most famous footballing son’.
Jim Cadman, of the Duncan Edwards Tribute, said, ‘The positive response to our plans for the Duncan Edwards Peace Field Project has been remarkable’. ‘It will now provide a strong platform to promote the football heritage of Duncan Edwards – and link his birth place of Dudley with some of the greatest cities of the world.’
Paul Cooper, Director, National Children’s Football Alliance, said, ‘It is a great honour to be here today. Duncan Edwards legacy is here for young people to learn about the power of football and how it brings us all together’.